The Ombuds can:

  • Listen, which may be all you want
  • Offer information about Northeastern University policies and procedures
  • Discuss your concerns and clarify the issues
  • Help identify and evaluate a range of options for solving the problem
  • Gather information and offer referrals to other resources
  • Offer coaching, for example , to prepare you for a difficult conversation
  • Help you to write a letter
  • Facilitate communication directly by arranging a meeting where she will help both parties to resolve the dispute constructively
  • Facilitate communication indirectly through shuttle diplomacy

Topics you May Want to Discuss:

  • Interpersonal difficulties
  • Unprofessional conduct
  • Bureaucratic runarounds
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Appropriate ways to frame and discuss an issue
  • Incivility or rudeness
  • Untangling a complicated situation
  • Ways to make or seek an apology
  • Academic freedom
  • Balancing work and family
  • Cultural misunderstandings
  • Ethical dilemmas
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Health and safety concerns
  • Formal processes for resolving issues
  • Violations of university policy
  • Dealing with a difficult boss or colleague

What the Ombuds Does NOT Do

  • Offer legal advice
  • Participate in grievances of other formal processes
  • Serve as an advocate for an individual
  • Make, change, or set aside policies
  • Serve as an agent of notice to the university
  • Conduct formal mediation
  • Decide disputes